And they took offence at him

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All still asleep …

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We have taken a week’s holiday.  It is the first time we have taken a week during the summer holidays (since our children left school).

Yesterday we went to Marsh Farm for the day.  Four grandchildren and our daughter.

Three grandchildren old enough to enjoy the fun – and one baby attached to mum’s chest.  Two grandchildren able to run about and create mayhem – one grandchild needing one-one attention.

And one more grandchild at home with our other daughter and her husband (who is also on holiday this week).

Marsh Farm has changed with the farming times.  Changed from a working farm to a fun farm.  Designed, planned and built to provide a great day out for children of all ages.  I did not recognise it as the (almost) working farm open to the public (that we took our children to years ago): same location – different re-purposing.

Our daughter has taken her own children there in the past.  So after a picnic lunch she headed us all to “the beach”.  It was a mystery to me:

“The Beach”

Which was a flattened area covered in sand and “bouncing pillows” (massive inflatables half-buried in the ground) with – in the distance – the biggest baddest bestest paddling pool I have ever seen!  Also an inflatable (of the kind we have in our back garden) BUT this one on a MASSIVE scale.  Maybe 30 feet x 20 feet with wide inflated walls (I had to straddle) and with water about 1 foot deep.  Very refreshing!

Full of children running around splashing each other within their personal “splash zone”.  And because Alfie needs one-one attention, our daughter and I were both in the pool AND in every “splash zone” that ran by.

The two mayhem-aged grandchildren soon twigged that splashing mum and granddad was allowed (as was mum and granddad chasing them and dunking them) … And that is when I found out the pool’s hidden secret!

The ground under the paddling pool had not been flattened like the rest of the area.

It was a load of bumps and dips.  Farmland with all its imperfections simply hidden by this huge rubberised paddling pool and a foot of water!   And that is why the children all  kept falling over – seeing these lumps and bumps was impossible.

I was immediately offended that such a basic had been overlooked!  Or worse – not overlooked at all – but left deliberately!  Cheapskating of the worst kind!

And then I realised it WAS NOT cheapskating at all – the bumps and lumps WERE the “perfections”!  The falling over WAS the fun – the NOT KNOWING was the excitement – the getting drenched was the ONLY reason for this paddling pool at all!

I had reacted as an adult – but the pool had been built for children by child-minded adults (and the children loved it).  And once I realised it was ME that had it wrong – I loved it as well (and used the “perfections” to great advantage)!

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Life and living and loving and losing.

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“Jesus came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power?  Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary?  And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?  And are not all his sisters with us?  Where then did this man get all this?”  And they took offence at him.  But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.”  And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.”  Matthew 13:54-58

A carpenter’s son … a farmer’s son … a granddad in a paddling pool …

Us adults study the bible and see an absence of faith.  And us saved souls tut-tut at such abject lack of faith.  That we saved souls would never suffer that kind of error now we are saved souls.

And us “adults” saved or not miss the point completely.  Me included.

We see imperfections instead of perfections.  We prefer to tut-tut than get drenched.  But “getting drenched” IS the reason for living – it is NOT God’s “dereliction of duty” – the “lumps and bumps” IS everyday living – the “not knowing when” IS the excitement (and pain) each day.

And that “unbelief” is NOT “unbelieving”.

Unbelief is seeing life as I have been taught it should be lived: without “imperfections” and “cheapskating”.

Unbelief is not seeing the “perfections”.

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